In times of crisis, what happens when thoughts we tell ourselves about our lives, beliefs and who we are no longer work? Do we fight, rally and get angry? Yes especially as communities defend their homes and stand together in disbelief and terror. Do we freeze, deny and hold on tighter? Or do we surrender to a new way, a sweet word often underestimated, much like vulnerability is misunderstood for weakness.
When we soften and allow our bodies to process pain, much like a dog will vigorously shake after trauma or shock, it is felt and dealt with on the spot. Hopefully we won’t have to carry it around forever more.
A month into relocating to Cambodia, I cried for three weeks non stop. I cried rivers as my chest released white knuckled tension. That place cracked me open and I wasn’t going back into place. I’d expanded beyond the form and didn’t want to glue the pieces back again. I regularly had a dream of growing large black wings with red tips, large enough to fly.
Losing your mind can be scary but it can also be a good thing.
It doesn’t take much to see the ego driven state of the world. Governments making decisions from the head leaving the more compassionate, universal heartfelt angles behind. Pure rationality ain’t gonna work no more. The intellect is the servant not the master, contrary to what we are conditioned to believe. Our innate collective body wisdom and connection to Mother Earth: her animals, plants, rocks, rivers, oceans and all elements are the masters.
I recently got back from a festival where I shared healing circles with indigenous women from NE Arnhem Land. Specially sourced leaves from up north were smoked and steeped into an oily tea that we rubbed on our skin, heads and bodies. They willingly shared their knowledge as it is time for us to be together to heal. Pictured at Woodford folk festival
Maori women shared their sacred women’s haka. We vowed to respect its sanctity and not recreate it in front of others even our families, but instead use it as a way to empower ourselves into action. They told us Western women hold much power to heal Mother Earth by reconnecting with her and raising their children to do the same. In Maori, the word for womb is the same as the word for Earth. Mama Mihirangi spoke about how indigenous nature based cultures haven’t lost this, she spoke of knowing her ancestry 42 generations back. She is connected to the same mountain and rivers her grandmothers have honoured for thousands of years. I felt a pang at my lack of ancestral place, a disconnection that migration brings coupled with a loss of cultural, land based traditions. She spoke of witch hunts and I spontaneously bursted into tears, emotions choked at the injustice and the fear to be seen or different.
Later after deep breath work and dance, I lay down in meditation when my body constricted with a tightness at my throat. I felt a noose. I dry reeched multiple times, vomiting out the emotions trapped in my cellular memory. I allowed it to run, witnessed and released. My voice left clear to chant out sounds as I remembered how. My mind watched on as a tool not the driver, whilst my body held the wisdom.
Although my exact origins may be blurry, my ancestors speak of early shamanic traditions in Northern Europe, similar in ways to what I hear when I listen to indigenous stories, rituals and connection. We are being asked to wake up to her. To sing, pray, dance and respect our Mother just as our ancestors did. It is time to heal these fears, our Mother needs us to be strong, vocal, connected and receptive. Our indigenous sisters can help us remember.